Momentum founder Jon Lansman urged to retract 'misleading' claims about Lisa Nandy's voting record
The Momentum founder Jon Lansman has been urged to retract a “misleading” claim about Lisa Nandy’s voting record.
The left-wing campaign group have sparked a major row after they suggested Labour leadership hopeful Rebecca Long-Bailey was the only remaining candidate who had opposed the Conservative’s 2015 welfare bill.
But supporters of rival Ms Nandy have hit back, pointing out the Wigan MP had only failed to vote against it in the Commons because she was on maternity leave at the time.
According to the Red Roar website, Momentum sent out a briefing note to activists involved in Miss Long-Bailey’s campaign which included the claim.
In a section headed ‘Trust’, the document reportedly says the shadow business secretary is: “The only candidate who provided consistent support to Jeremy Corbyn, nominating him in 2015 and 2016, serving in the Shadow Cabinet 2016-2019, and regularly defending his policies and vision on the national media.
“Backed by nearly all Socialist Campaign Group MPs, and two of the UK’s biggest unions. The only leadership candidate who opposed the 2015 welfare bill.”
But the remarks have sparked fury from Labour MP Louise Haigh, who has called on Mr Lansman to retract the statement.
The shadow policing minister, a vocal supporter of Ms Nandy’s campaign, tweeted: “I've now asked Jon Lansman three times to retract Momentum's misleading accusations about Lisa Nandy's voting record and maternity leave.
"I'm disappointed to do this publicly but I think it is imperative that we all run positive and honest campaigns."
She also flagged remarks made on Ms Nandy's website in 2015 which explained the reason for her absence and stated she would "never support" the "bad piece of legislation".
Speaking to PoliticsHome, Ms Haigh added: "It's really disappointing to see negative attacks by Momentum on a female candidate for taking maternity leave.
“This leadership contest is an opportunity to improve the quality of debate. Members want to see an honest, positive debate about the future of our party."
At the end of January the campaign group were forced to delete a social media video which they had produced attacking Ms Nandy over the same issue.
The Wigan MP tweeted at the time: “Just seen a really disingenuous and ugly video accusing me of abstaining on Tory welfare cuts, which I opposed.
“I didn’t abstain. I was on maternity leave. This sort of attack hurts all women in politics. Let’s keep it sisterly.”
A spokesperson for Rebecca Long-Bailey said they would not comment on leaks.
Jon Lansman has been approached for comment.